LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elijah Stewart scored 26 points with seven 3-pointers and four blocks, USC set a school single-game record with 14 blocks, and the Trojans cruised to a 93-67 win over Pepperdine on Sunday night to improve to 9-0.
It’s the Trojans’ best start since they went 16-0 in 1971.
Jordan McLaughlin added 18 points and made all seven of his shots, Chimezie Metu scored 11 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Nick Rakocevic and Shaqquan Aaron added 13 apiece for the Trojans.
USC ran out to an 11-2 lead and never looked back. The Trojans led 48-30 at halftime after shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
Jeremy Major led Pepperdine (4-6) with 19 points and Chris Reyes added 13. Pepperdine shot just 38.2 percent from the field.
The Waves have now lost five straight.
Pepperdine: The Waves are still trying to find their way without injured players Amadi Udenyi (Achilles), Kameron Edwards (jaw) and others. If the Waves hope to shake the non-conference losses before the West Coast Conference begins on Dec. 29 at Gonzaga.
USC: The Trojans could work their way into the national rankings and garner more publicity for their undefeated season, possibly leap-frogging several two-loss teams. USC’s winning ways in the preseason will be especially beneficial when the Pac-12 season begins Dec. 28 at Oregon State.
Pepperdine is just two games into a difficult six-game road stretch, but its next game isn’t until Dec. 20 at Louisiana. That’s followed by games at Montana, Gonzaga and Portland.
USC is in the middle of a three-game home stretch at the Galen Center, where it can extend its undefeated season with a win over Troy on Saturday and Cornell on Dec. 19.